26 players called up for USMNT friendlies

US Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called up 26 players to a training camp roster. The USMNT will take on Jamaica and Northern Ireland in a pair of friendlies ahead of competitive fixtures this summer.

“This is another step forward in strengthening our group in preparation for Nations League, Gold Cup, and World Cup Qualifying,” said Berhalter via US Soccer’s press release. “It’s great to get the group together to continue to build relationships on and off the field. We look forward to the games and the different challenges they will pose.”

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The US will travel to Wiener Neustadt, Austria to take on Jamaica in a rematch of the 2019 Gold Cup Semifinal on March 25, kicking off at noon central on ESPN2, UniMás and TUDN. Three days later they’ll travel to Belfast to take on Northern Ireland, the first meeting of the two nations in over 70 years. That match will kick off at 11am central on FOX, UniMás and TUDN.

The roster for the friendlies consists of a mostly European-based squad, with just two MLS representatives. Despite several core players in the group, the roster averages only 11 caps.

ROSTER (Club/Country; Caps/Goals)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 4/0), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 19/0)
DEFENDERS (10): John Brooks* (Wolfsburg/GER; 39/3), Reggie Cannon* (Boavista/POR; 13/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 5/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 19/3), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 20/1), Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien/AUT; 2/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 41/1), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 0/0), Chris Richards* (Hoffenheim/GER; 1/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 8/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 2/1), Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 25/2) Tyler Adams* (RB Leipzig/GER; 12/1), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 1/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 18/4), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 2/0), Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG; 1/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Daryl Dike (Barnsley/ENG; 1/0), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 2/2), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 34/14), Gio Reyna* (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 2/1), Josh Sargent* (Werder Bremen/GER; 12/5), Tim Weah* (Lille/FRA; 10/1)
* Indicates player will depart after March 25 match against Jamaica

Yunus Musah gets the nod after committing to play for the US, despite public interest from England. Additionally, Leicester goalkeeper Chituru Odunze and Roma fullback Bryan Reynolds receive their first call-ups.

Center-back Chris Richards is in the squad after joining Hoffenheim on loan from Bayern Munich. The 20-year-old Alabama native has started five of six matches since joining Hoffenheim. Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic is back in the squad, and could make his first international appearance since October 2019.

New York Red Bulls center-back Aaron Long, LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget and Colorado Rapids midfielder Kellyn Acosta are the sole MLS representatives, with Nashville SC center-back and reigning MLS Defender of the Year Walker Zimmerman missing out. Additionally, striker Daryl Dike gets a chance to earn his second cap after a run of exceptional form after joining Barnsley on loan.

Players based out of Germany, as well as Portuguese-based Reggie Cannon, will only participate in the first match against Jamaica. Due to Covid restrictions, they’ll return to their club teams in order to avoid a quarantine period.

Notable absences include Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie, Galatasary defender DeAndre Yedlin, Genk center-back Mark McKenzie, and Schalke striker Matthew Hoppe. Berhalter confirmed to the media that McKennie was left off the roster due to a slight injury. Others were in consideration, but Covid restrictions and the ability of several players to only participate in the first match “really complicated things.”

The pair of matches are the final chance to tune up the roster before the matches become competitive. The USMNT will play in the Concacaf Nations League in June, the Gold Cup in July, and the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in the fall.

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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